07/29/16 12:00pm

Do you know your food? Michelle Cashen, farm manager at Brooklyn Grange. Photo via @esynyc

Michelle Cashen didn’t always know she wanted to work at a farm. The 25-year-old Rockaway native studied environmental policy during her undergrad years. She knew she wanted to be some kind of environmental advocate, so she got a job right out of college as a paralegal at a law firm.

But after a couple years, she realized the sedentary, office lifestyle wasn’t for her. “I did not enjoy sitting at a desk every day and for the majority of my week being inside, sitting down, not using my body,” she told Brokelyn.

While pondering a career change, Cashen, who now lives in Bushwick, looked into opportunities at Brooklyn Grange. She had been on a tour at the farm’s flagship location in Long Island City, and knew they had a farm crew and training program. “My interest in rooftop farming originated from my love of healthy food and my desire to green the city,” she says. “After Hurricane Sandy, I kept thinking, I want to help make NYC a greener place.”

Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, which grows 50,000 pounds of organic produce yearly, is not a bad place to start. The two farm operation wholesales produce to more than 40 restaurants and retailers across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, operates a CSA, and sells at farmers’ markets. They also host classes and workshops, support nonprofit education initiatives, maintain more than 30 beehives across the city—the list goes on. It’s a truly mind-blowing example of what hard work, horticulture, and a little ingenuity can accomplish within the limitations of an urban setting.

She applied to the training program and was accepted, working on the farm crew for her first season at Brooklyn Grange. “That was the first time I had done any actual farming,” she says. “I had never even done gardening before. It was all learning as you go.” (more…)

06/08/15 12:42pm
brooklyn navy yard

In the Navy (Yard)/There’s a bunch of stuff to see! In the Navy (Yard)/Open to you and me! via Flickr user Tracy O.

From hosting complainers during Fashion Week to being declared a national landmark, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been getting plenty of hype lately. But unless you work here or live in the surrounding neighborhoods, chances are good you haven’t ventured to this pocket of our borough. Not unlike… almost all of Brooklyn, the Navy Yard has changed drastically in recent years. Once one of the most active military shipbuilding sites in the U.S. all the way back to the days the Revolutionary War, the Navy Yard is now a vast, urban industrial park dedicated to sustainability. It’s home to almost 330 widely diverse businesses which employ over 7000 people. Though non-employees can’t always access the secure confines of the yard, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore it! We’ve compiled a list of things you should do and see in the Yard, as well as just a sampling of the awesome work from this hotbed of creativity and innovation. (more…)

08/14/14 8:41am
Please don't run head-first into this.

Please don’t run head-first into this.

1. Turnip the Beet with some folk and bluegrass music at Brooklyn Grange. (Friday)

2. Escort is a (really) big ole “disco orchestra” and they’re headed to The Bell House. (Friday)

3. Resident Advisor’s Level BBQ is a small, cozy, bumpin’ backyard house music fest. (Saturday) (more…)

05/02/12 7:13am

You can volunteer to do this at Northside. Photo courtesy of L Magazine/Northside Festival.

Remember when you used to give back (or at least pad your resume to be more attractive to non-profits after college)? Now we’re like: “Volunteer? You crazy? I’m an intern/artist/apprentice/blogger; I don’t get paid for my real work, why would I do MORE work for nothing?” Valid point. But there are loads of opportunities to pitch in at events you probably would be attending anyway and, bonus, you’ll get free admission, networking opps and sometimes even some cool swag. BurnedGreen gave us a roundup of some of the best volunteer gigs around Brooklyn this summer. (more…)